by Michele Delera - Last month Mr Rouhani’s cabinet raised domestic fuel prices by 40 percent, and gas prices to households and commercial consumers by 15 percent. The move comes as part of a wider government effort – which also includes a planned depreciation of the official exchange rate, by 10 percent – to bring some relief to the country’s strained public finances.
by Matteo Verda - According to the Italian transmission system operator, Snam Rete Gas, between 2011 and 2014 natural gas consumption decreased by 21%, from 76 to 60 billion cubic meters (Bcm). Even if during the first five months of 2015 this trend reversed and consumption increased from 28 to 31 Bcm (i.e. +9%), final demand will take years to recover its pre-crisis levels, if ever. Regardless of the causes, slack demand had an impact on the structure of the Italian supply.
by Filippo Clô - As regularly happens since oil prices started to fall in July 2014, prophesies about the imminent end of the shale oil industry continue to fill the newspapers. The most recent and resounding attack came from the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy’s predictor, David Einhorn. At the Ira Sohn investment conference in New York on May 4th, he claimed that shale oil producers rely on a trashing business model.
by Simona Benedettini - The European Commission has recently launched a state aid sector inquiry on Member States’ capacity mechanisms. The UK is not included in the inquiry given that its capacity market, currently running, has been already approved by the EC in the light of state aid rules.
Nonetheless, a more detailed insight into the UK capacity mechanism leads to some considerations about whether its ability to promote generation adequacy in a competitive and cost-effective manner may be involuntarily jeopardized by some of its features.
by Francesca Morra and Lorenzo Parola - Only few weeks ago many sources reported that Italy withdrew from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), through a formal notice sent to the Energy Charter Secretariat, apparently, in January 2015. In fact, Article 1, paragraph 318, of Law No. 190 of 23 December 2014, delegated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to “renegotiate” several international agreements in order to cut down costs related to the participation to international organizations for a total amount of EUR 25,243,300 for 2015 and EUR 8,488,300 starting from 2016.
by Sissi Bellomo (Il Sole 24 Ore) - One of the charges the European Commission brought against Gazprom in its antitrust case is that it allegedly practiced an “unfair pricing policy” towards some customers that were thus forced to pay more than due for gas supplies. What is a “fair” gas price anyway?
by Alessandro Rubino - Euro Mediterranean countries are engaged in an intense (never-ending) dialogue to define the main features of Regional Cooperation in the Energy sector. The high-level conference recently held in Rome under the Italian Presidency of the EU and of the European Commission (EC) has proposed the creation of three thematic platforms with the aim to re-invigorate the dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean Basin. The three platforms will be dedicated respectively to three thematic focus: 1) Gas; 2) Regional Electricity Market; 3) Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
by Nicolò Rossetto - Today we suggest our Italian speaking readers two books, recently published by Cooperativa Libraria Universitaria (CLU) and by il Mulino, which we believe could be of great interest. The first is the new edition of one of the very few textbooks on energy economics available in Italian (Economia dell'energia. I fondamenti), while our second suggestion is a miscellaneous book, published with the support of Acquirente Unico, the Italian single buyer for electricity (Riforme elettriche tra efficienza ed equità).
by Carlo Durante - With around 50GW of installed renewable energy capacity, Italy is one of the core RES (Renewable Energy Sources) countries across the EU with Germany and Spain, now followed closely by the UK and France. In Italy RES went through boom and bust in the past decade, mainly due to the “green bubble” cycle, which attracted new investors. The current situation shows a slower investment pace than in the past due to: a) lower incentives, electricity prices, financial leverage; b) a fragmented asset base; c) disappointed investors due to uncertain and lower than expected returns.
by Francesca Morra and Lorenzo Parola - The new regulatory framework arising from the combined provisions of EMIR, MiFID II and MiFIR, aimed to make financial markets more efficient, resilient and transparent and to strengthen the protection of investors, significantly widens the panoply of obligations that apply to energy commodities derivatives and to energy traders.